Jan 9, 2013

LoEB Post - Spies!

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This week's assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers was delivered by someone claiming to be a diplomatic courier. The shifty-eyed man handed me a manilla envelope and promptly vanished into the surroundings. How he knew I was in the women's undergarments department in Target, I have no idea. I opened the envelope and extracted a piece of paper upon which was written one word: 


In keeping with this theme, I'm going to take you undercover and introduce you to a couple of 60's spy films that are not as widely known as many others. Would you believe a spy spoof starring actors from American International's Edgar Allen Poe and beach party movies? I defy you to watch this trailer for Dr Goldfoot and The Bikini Machine and not want to see it!

Dr Goldfoot was released in 1965, one year after Goldfinger. Not only does it have an all star cast, but the title track was sung by The Supremes and it features an opening claymation sequence done by none other than Art Clokey, creator of Gumby.

Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine poster vincent price

In a 1987 interview, Vincent Price stated the original concept for the movie was to have it be a campy musical. What he didn't mention was if these scenes were shot or if the musical numbers were completely cut before shooting started. However, the 1965 TV Special The Wild Weird World of Dr. Goldfoot featured several songs that were to be in the movie.

There are in-jokes throughout the movie that might be missed unless you fall in a specific demographic: those that are familiar with the Frankie & Annette beach movies and the Vincent Price Poe movies. Don't get me wrong, if you aren't familiar with them you'll still enjoy the movie because of the wacky zaniness of it all. Or was that zany wackiness? There's a reason I listed it in my Top 10 Price Films.

The climax of the movie is an insane vehicular chase which you can see parts of in the trailer. I think it's safe to say you'll never see another movie where a boat on a trailer is being pursued by a runaway cable car.

Dr. Goldfoot returned to theaters the following year with his Girl Bombs to get revenge. This time facing off against Fabian in a movie directed by famed Italian director Mario Bava who also directed the fantastic spy movie Danger: Diabolik (look that one up kids!)

There are two cuts of Dr. Goldfoot and His Girl Bombs. The English language version is the one most people that have actually seen this will have seen. There is an Italian cut that supposedly focuses more on comedy duo Franco and Ciccio than Price and the other American actors. It's not really all that surprising considering the comedy duo and director are Italian and the Bikini Machine did slightly better in Italy than in the US.

Dr Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs poster vincent price

I'm not going to lie, this one isn't nearly as much fun as the first one. If I wasn't a Price fan, I probably wouldn't remember as little about it as I do. Is it worth seeing? Only you can make that call. I purposely sit through some bad movies and sometimes I end up enjoying them. But seriously, if you want an awesome Bava spy movie, check out Danger: Diabolik.

Here's what other League agents are reporting
Rich at Fortune and Glory Days debriefs his childhood spy gear
The Captain Action Spy figure is caught on film by Infinite Hollywood
That Figures talks about the not so famous board game Microdot